By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Gambia’s Afro-Manding singer, O Boy Conteh, has claimed that aside from legendary Jaliba Kuyateh, he is the father of all Gambian artists. He uttered this in reaction to a barrage of criticisms directed at him over a stage comment he made during his performance at Attack’s Bomb Concert over the weekend.
The Ahjendi hitmaker could not ignore critics this time by going live to address the issue. O Boy was claimed to have said on stage that all Mandinkas are behind Attack, whose Jambarr song sparked a heated debate among Gambian music zealots over the GOAT claim between him and ST. The Afro-Manding singer said he is not in any competition with any artist because they are not in the same lane in the music industry.
“I am not competing with anyone. All these artists, aside from Jaliba Kuyateh — I am the father of all these artists. I am the one promoting their culture. I am not on the same lane with them”, O Boy claimed.
He added that he’s supporting neither ST nor Attack on what is trending. He defended and emphasized that his words on stage were to cool down the message going around that Mandinkas are against Attack, who is believed to be in the Wolof ethnic group. Furthermore, he narrated that others are claiming that Mandinka artists are fighting an artist, something he wanted to downplay on stage. Likewise, he said he is a pure Mandinka and won’t say anything negative about the Mandinkas.
“If they are doing their stuff, don’t think that when I talk, I am supporting any of them. I saw something that is not right in the rumour and our parents are sitting at home. Don’t label artists as Mandinka artists or Wolof artists. Let us not do that. I will tell you one thing: these artists are using you. Artists and journalists are the ones talking,” he told Gambians.
In reaction to critics saying that he should rather focus on releasing hit songs than meddle in the ST/Hussain Dada and Attack saga because it has been a while since he released one, the singer said that those are not his fans. He asserted that he doesn’t force anybody to listen to his music and that if they would rather not listen to him, let them stay away.
“My music, if you like, listen to it. If you don’t want, leave it. I don’t force anybody to listen to my music,” he stressed.